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Maretta McDonald

Maretta McDonald, Affiliate Faculty Member

Maretta McDonald portrait
Maretta McDonald, Affiliate Faculty Member

Department of Sociology
672 McBryde Hall
225 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Maretta McDonald is a 2022-2023 National Poverty Fellow with the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a current position as an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Sociology, and will be transitioning to an assistant professor position in Fall 2023. McDonald’s current research interests are racial inequality, criminology/criminal justice, family, gender, spatial analyses, and public policy. Her dissertation, “Examining Child Support Enforcement in the Deep South: An Analysis of Race, Gender, Class, and Place,” examines the association of the agency’s policies and practices with macrolevel spatial and racial inequality, which brings all these areas into conversation with each other.

McDonald combines mixed methods with a practitioner’s lens to her research. She worked as a Child Support Enforcement officer and supervisor before entering graduate school. McDonald has successfully defended her dissertation and graduated from Louisiana State University with her Ph.D. in sociology in May 2022. McDonald also served as a 2021-2022 American Sociological Association (ASA) Minority Fellow and a member of the inaugural 2021-2022 cohort of ASA/NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant awardees. She has published her research in Sociological Perspectives and edited volumes. Her co-authored book, Sociology of Cardi B, is expected in early 2023 published by Routledge.

  • Racial inequality
  • Criminology/Criminal justice
  • Gender
  • Family
  • Public policy
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, Louisiana State University, 2022
  • M.S. in Applied Sociology, Southeastern Louisiana University, 2016
  • B.A. in Criminal Justice, Southeastern Louisiana University, 2014
  • Book Review Editor, Humanity and Society
  • Editorial Board, Humanity and Society
  • Nominations Committee, Association for Humanist Sociology
  • Member, American Society of Criminology
  • Member, American Sociological Association
  • Member, Association of Black Sociologists
  • Member, Black Female Fatherhood Scholars Network
  • Member, Pacific Sociological Society
  • Member, Southern Sociological Society
  • Roland Pellegrin Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Sociology Department. Louisiana State University, 2021
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Council Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate Award, Louisiana State University, 2021
  • Annette Massé and Beatrice Remillard Award for Outstanding Non-Traditional Student. Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies Program, Louisiana State University, 2018

Journal Articles

Allen, Shaonta’ E., Ifeyinwa F. Davis, Maretta McDonald, and Candice C. Robinson.  (2020) “The Case of Black Millennials.” Sociological Perspectives 63, no. 3: 478–85.  doi: 10.1177/0731121420915202   

Book Chapters

McDonald, Maretta. (2020) “Blue Lives Matter: Police Protection or Countermovement” in Protecting Whiteness: Whitelash and the Rejection of Racial Equality edited by Cameron Lippard, J. Scott Carter, and David G. Embrick. Seattle. University of Washington Press.

McDonald, Maretta. (2020) “Child Support Enforcement as Social Control: Black Fathers and Multi-partner Fertility” in Africana Demography edited by Lori L. Martin. Netherlands. Brill.

McDonald, Maretta. (2020) “GO ‘HEAD GIRL, WAY TO REPRESENT! Dealing with Issues of Race and Gender in Shondaland” in Racialized Media: The Design, Delivery, and Decoding of Race and Ethnicity edited by Matthew W. Hughey and Emma Lesser. New York. NYU Press.

  • American Sociological Association Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, 2021. “Enforcing Fatherhood in the Deep South: An Intersectional Approach.” ($14,986)
  • American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program, 2021.
  • Louisiana State University, Graduate School Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2021.
  • Louisiana Board of Regents/Southern Regional Education Board Doctoral Student Fellowship, 2016-2020.

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